Patriots accused of filming the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline

The incident has sparked another NFL investigation into the New England Patriots

Footage claims to show members of the Patriots staff filming the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline. Photograph: Getty Images

Footage claims to show members of the Patriots staff filming the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Fox Sports on Sunday morning played footage it claimed to show members of the Patriots staff filming the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline last week in an incident that has sparked another NFL investigation into New England.

The video, obtained by Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, is apparently video taken by the Bengals’ security staff, as it records the screen that shows what the Patriots staffers were recording. On it, players subbing on and off the field are seen before the camera pans to the Bengals sideline. According to Glazer, Bengals security recorded eight minutes of that view.

During the clip, you then hear Bengals security confronting the videographers, who apparently said they were recording an advance scout and then said they were recording the field, though one of the videographers admits they are not recording any advance scout or the field while a play is going on.

From there, the Patriots staffers apologise and repeatedly offer to delete the footage right there in the press box.

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“The damage is done my friend,” one of the Bengals staffers then says.

According to Fox, Bengals security then alerted NFL security in the press box and the NFL immediately confiscated the video.

When news of the video first broke early last week, the Patriots released a statement saying the videographer was filming one of New England’s advance scouts for a “Do Your Job” documentary series on employees that is featured on the team website.

According the Boston Globe on Sunday, the Patriots suspended the videographer, Dave Mondillo, described as a longtime full-time employee of Kraft Sports and Entertainment, headed by Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

“The sole purpose of the filming was to provide an illustration of an advance scout at work on the road,” the statement read. “There was no intention of using the footage for any other purpose. We understand and acknowledge that our video crew, which included independent contractors who shot the video, unknowingly violated a league policy by filming the field and sideline from the press box. When questioned, the crew immediately turned over all footage to the league and cooperated fully.”

Patriots coach Bill Belichick has denied any knowledge of the recording before the news broke, saying in a conference call with reporters Tuesday, “I don’t have anything to do with this at all, whatsoever. Whatever is going on between the people involved in it and the league and all that, it’s not a football issue in any way, shape or form,” he said, per the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I have no involvement. I don’t know anything about this.”

In 2007, the Patriots were caught videotaping the Jets’ coaches and sideline, an incident that became known as Spygate. The fallout from that included the NFL fining Belichick $500,000, and fining the Patriots $250,000 and docking the team’s first-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.

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